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Werewolves and other nightmares
The sun crept quietly over Demorth, and with it came the first restful snores of sleep. The men of the town had spent the night guarding their town with pitchforks and silver bullets, against a danger that had long since past, and had left another to take its blame. The women had been told to rest, but had found sleep impossible, watching anxiously by window at the dancing torches in the street. As if at any moment the fire shall be chilled away by the wind and their husbands struck down by witches’ magic. Children had retreated to their rooms, much too excited to sleep. Life’s a game for children, and this had made for much whispered play when their mothers and fathers had told them to sleep. In their rooms they told horror stories, and young boys talked of how brave they would be in the face of danger and death. When the sun found its way over the hills and cast its protection of day upon the town, eve soul retried to bed, wondering if they had survived their final night.
Only a young woman stayed awake, but pretended to sleep. She waited till she knew that the others of the home had drifted deep into dream land before she silently slipped from the house. She went first to her home, and found it still ravaged from the night before. Tears welled in her eyes at the sight long gashes she knew were claw marks on the door, but she banished her sorrow for a later time. She drifted through the halls as if in a dream stepping around over turned tables and chairs, splinted wood, and broken heirlooms. She wished only to curl into her own bed, thinking that somehow sleep would awake her from her horrible nightmare. It was fear that drove her from the cabin, back unto the trail for town.
She knew not what emotion drove her into the jail house, whether it was grief, vengeance, or loyalty, but it made her slip the keys from a snoozing guard and step inside. The prison sat on the out skirts of the town, and was only used as a place where drunks were thrown to sober, or the criminal clumsy enough to be captured as stored for until tried or taken or some other place. Demorth’s jail could barely be called such. It was composed of four small brink walls growing from the earth, which need lean on each other to support a sinking roof. The floor was dirt, and stank like a mule’s pen that hadn’t been cleaned in months. The grime covered bricks composing the wall could individually be determined by frames of moss. The prison was one room, windowless besides a bared gap in the heavy wooden door.
Against the wall opposite the door, the silhouette of a man was visible. His feet were wrapped in heavy chain, with three round iron weights attacked to each ankle. Each wrist was wrapped in iron cuffs, attached to a supporting wood beam overhead. The man draped his head towards the ground, bloody and matting brown-blood hair forming walls around his face. The young woman opened the one entrance to the jail casting sunlight over the man. She half expected it to burn his skin, but he seemed to have no effect. Upon seeing the blood and gashes upon the torso of the man, she quickly closed the door behind her.
She stepped to the figure. She knew not if he was sleeping, and she wouldn’t dare think him dead. He towered over her normally, but his arms stretched overhead made him seem taller than usual. And she could see the hands morph into furry paws, with deadly claws. Fear turned to anger, anger that crumpled her fingers together into fists. With all her might she hit the side of his face with enough force to burse her own knuckles.
His head swung with the blow, and took a moment to turn to face the ground once more. He wouldn’t show his face when he spoke “I suppose I deserved that.”
“You suppose! You suppose!” The woman snapped, and forced herself to lower her voice. “You did deserve that, Jevson!”
“What do you think these chains, Mevlinda, do I deserve these too?” His voice was different, new in tone to the girl. It was emotionless, even cold… testing.
“No,” he expected a different answer from her, “You do not deserve to be here. You are innocent, I saw the… the monster that” her voice cracked and she bit her lip. “Let me see your face.”
Jevson sighed, but did not move.
“Let me see your face!” Mevlinda demanded again.
Three fresh parallel lines ran from above one eye, across the other, and to the temple. She had seen when this wound was inflicted, and she knew the attacker had done it. Her worst fears vanished, and in the joy she grabbed the sides of Jevson’s face, stood at the tips of her toes, then pressed her lips against his. She kissed him only a moment before regaining control, then yanking herself away in disgust.
He laughed under his breath, “I know I didn’t deserve that.”
“You didn’t!” She crossed her arms and turned away so he wouldn’t see her reddening cheeks.
“Why did you come here, Mev?” He asked.
“Not for you.” She turned to face him.
“Funny I’m the only one here.”
“Can you be serious for once in your life?”
“I could, but it’s more fun not too.” She could feel his mischievous gleaming grin on the back of her head.
She huffed before turning and demanding “Why did you ask me to the woods yesterday?”
Jevson’s grin faded, and he looked once more towards the floor “You had the right to know.”
“And you didn’t think how dangerous it could be to anyone?”
“I haven’t seen another Wolf since I was a child. And I have complete control except when the moon is full,” his voice was slalom. “I meant in no way for you or your father to be hurt, Mev. I had no idea that other Wolves were around here.”
She was crying now, despite her best efforts tears welled from the brim of her eyes, “He was right about you! He always told me to stay away from you! I should’ve listened.”
“He knew, Mev. He knew what I am.”
“He knew. That’s the real reason I was going to show you what I am. He told me I either had to tell you or he would tell the entire village!”
“How would he know? How would anyone!”
“Your father was part of the group that found me, remember? He was the one that kept them from killing me on sight!”
Mevlinda was baffled.
“There’s no time for this,” Jevson growled, “I have something for you, in my pocket.”
She examined him with an accusing eye.
“You wouldn’t have hesitated like this two days ago,” his perfect wild smile melted her defense. She retrieved a small gold band, awestruck she turned it in her fingers.
Something in Jevson suddenly snapped, “I can forget so easily how dangerous I can be to those around me. We’re lucky they aren’t holding your head to the chopping block too. I was foolish to ever think I could be normal, and I was selfish to take the spot I have in your heart. Please leave and forget about me. You have a future in this world, and I will only destroy it.”
“I will testify for you today,” Mevlinda said, trying to keep her tone calm and controlled.
“No you won’t. They will send me to the gallows regardless of what you say, and they will look for any reason they can to do the same to any whom testify in my name. I won’t let you become a witch at the stake! Now leave before anyone finds you here.”
Mevlinda looked away from the growling monster in front of her. Jevson was cool and collected, but his anger was extreme.
“Didn’t you hear me? What? You thought I cared about you? You thought I loved you? I used you! You are such a stupid b****! No! That’s too good a term for you! Dogs are smarter than you, and prettier too! Now leave! If I don’t see your ugly face again I can die a happy man.”
Mevlinda grabbed Jev’s head again, and forced him to look into her eyes. “I love you, too.” She kissed him again, fearless. She had to force herself away this time, and left without another word.
When the door shut behind her, Jevson finally set his tears free. She would return, her knew he couldn’t fool her.